The Lack of Gender Diversity in Climate Change Research

Reuters, the international news agency based in London, recently compiled a list of the world’s 1,000 most influential climate scientists. To compile the list Reuters examined how many research papers scientists have published on topics related to climate change; how often those papers are cited by other scientists in similar fields of study, such as biology, chemistry or physics; and how often those papers are referenced in the lay press, social media, policy papers, and other outlets. The data was assembled through Dimensions, the academic research portal of the British-based technology company Digital Science. Its database contains hundreds of thousands of papers related to climate science published by many thousands of scholars, the vast majority published since 1988.

Of the 1,000 most influential scientists in the field of climate change on the list compiled by Reuters, only 122 were women.

A second analysis of the 100 most cited papers on climate change over the past five years by CarbonBrief, an online news source on climate change, found that women were less than one quarter of all authors on these papers. And women were only 12 percent of the lead authors of these 100 most-cited articles on climate change. CarbonBrief has published an extensive paper on the lack of diversity in climate change research. It can be found here.

A report published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences in 2018 surveyed authors of papers from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The survey found that “41 percent of women climate scientists saw gender as a barrier to their success, and 43 percent believed that female climate researchers are not well represented in the climate community.”


Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study

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